Cultural Perceptions of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in Maryland, North Carolina, and the Baltic Sea Coast
Orbach, Michael K
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Climate change and sea level rise pose significant threats to both the natural and built environment. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important for coastal communities to develop strategies that facilitate adaptation efforts in order to reduce their vulnerability. This research, in conjunction with the work of our client, Dr. Grit Martinez with Ecologic Institute, and the Regional Adaptation Strategies for the German Baltic Sea Coast (RADOST) project, involved a comparative analysis of the cultural perceptions of climate change and sea level rise adaptation strategies in Maryland and North Carolina. Through the completion of a literature review and in-person interviews with key informants and public citizens, this project investigated how differences in local perceptions affect current efforts to plan for and adapt to sea level rise. The study employed a “total ecology” framework in order to determine whether differences in the existing biophysical conditions, social demographics, and institutional frameworks of our study areas influence local perceptions of climate change and its associated impacts and, subsequently, whether these differences in perceptions affect current and future adaptation efforts. Several important themes emerged from the literature review and interview findings, including 1) the range of beliefs regarding climate change and sea level rise science, 2) the uneven distribution of interest in climate change related issues, 3) the lack of resources to address environmental challenges, and 4) additional barriers to the development and implementation of adaptation strategies. Overall, our research supports the overarching hypothesis that differences in biophysical conditions, social demographics, and existing policy frameworks influence local perceptions of climate change and sea level rise and the community’s willingness to formally address sea level rise concerns. However, our findings suggest that the ways in which the total ecology of a region influences local perceptions is very complex."
SubjectClimate Change Adaptation Strategies
Sea Level Rise
United States East Coast
CitationDonargo, Alexandra; Ducklow, Kelsey; & Morison, Nathalie (2013). Cultural Perceptions of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in Maryland, North Carolina, and the Baltic Sea Coast. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6809.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment